Common Signs of A Myofunctional Disorder

While orofacial myofunctional therapy and an orofacial myofunctional disorder may be new to you, it’s not new! It’s been around for 118+ years and the field is only growing. Growing rapidly I might add simply because there is a great need. It’s time to add this skillset to your toolbox, your clients are counting on you!

An orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) should be formally assessed but there are some common signs and symptoms that indicate an evaluation is warranted. Because it’s so important that we, as professionals in this space, are able to identify when someone is at risk for an OMD, we’ve created a “cheat sheet” of common signs and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of possible OMD’s

  • Sleep issues– such as sleep disordered breathing or sleep apnea are commonly associated with OMD’s. Grinding teeth, clenching, restlessness, tossing & turning, and never getting into a deep sleep may also be indicative of an OMD.
  • Bed wetting
  • Forward head posture– this may be related to a compromised airway or tight fascia.
  • Headaches, neck pain, muscular tension
  • TMJ Disorder 
  • Behavioral issues – such as attention/focus issues, hyperactivity, ADHD. Poor sleep, compromised airway, and mouth breathing have been linked to ADHD type behaviors.
  • Mouth Breathing – we should always breathe through our nose. It’s an immediate red flag when a patient is mouth breathing. We want to ask WHY and is this the norm for this patient?
  • Picky eating – if there is a tongue tie, or the jaw is smaller/retracted, chewing and swallowing will be difficult and scary which leads to picky eating.
  • Crowded/misaligned teeth – if their dentist is recommending a referral to an orthodontist, they need a myo eval!
  • Digestion problems –  there are often digestion issues when a person is not chewing enough or well enough to break down the food sufficiently. OMD’s can also lead to swallowing air which may cause gas or tummy aches.
  • Articulation delays
  • Difficulty breast or bottle feeding
  • Cavities – mouth breathing and oral habits can lead to cavities, so keep this in mind!

Note: this list is not exhaustive but it covers some of the top signs/symptoms to be aware of. For more information check out the Fast Myo Screening Packet (get a free copy here)

While not all inclusive, this gives you a good idea of signs and symptoms to be aware of when it comes to OMD’s. Were any of these surprising to you? We’d love to hear in the comments! Are you ready to dive in and take your first myofunctional client? Join us today in The Myo Method!!